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Author of acclaimed play 'Wit' to speak

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Elaine Justice

Margaret Edson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author of "Wit," will present "Word Streams," an evening of narrative, dialogue and scenes from the play at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, 1615 Clifton Rd., Atlanta. The event is free and open to the public.

Edson's appearance is part of the 20th annual conference of the Emory University Center for Ethics and the Healthcare Ethics Consortium. Edson's appearance is co-sponsored by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Healthcare.

About "Wit"

Edson’s critically acclaimed play reveals the realization of human mortality and metaphysical poetry within the mind of a renowned literary scholar, Vivian Bearing, dying of ovarian cancer. Throughout the play Bearing reflects on her life from her hospital bed; using the delicate and complex language of the poetry of John Donne she understands that, like the doctors who treat her, she too often overlooked humanity in the pursuit of the intellectual.

Edson once explained, "The play is not about doctors or even cancer. It's about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It's about compassion, but it shows insensitivity." "Wit" leaves both Bearing and the audience "yearning for kindness."

About Margaret Edson

Born in Washington D.C., Edson developed an interest in literature and drama early in her life. She began to pursue her interest in drama during high school, but went on to receive a major in Renaissance history from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., in 1983. Before returning to graduate school, Edson spent two years working at an AIDS-oncology research hospital in the D.C. area as a unit clerk. Her experiences there gave her the inspiration for her only play, "Wit," which she began writing in the summer of 1991. She received her master’s degree in English literature from Georgetown a year later. Edson, who views herself foremost as an educator, now lives in Atlanta where she is dedicated to her career as an elementary school teacher.

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